Early Heart Attack Care (EHAC) Heart attacks have beginnings
Course Outline 1.Anatomy and physiology 101: Your Heart 2.A Heart Attack in Progress 3.Concepts of Early Heart Attack Care 4.Recognition and Intervention 5.Delay and Denial 6.You: The Early Heart Attack Care Giver
Heart Attack Facts #1 Killer of adults 4,100 Heart attacks every day 600,000 Heart attack deaths each year Hundreds of thousands survive but are left with a damaged heart
Three Presentations of a Heart Attack Sudden, severe pain that stops you in your tracks Gradual increasing pain with damage occurring over a period of hours Very early presentation with mild symptoms over hours or days
Progress: Heart Attack Treatment Thrombolytic Therapy (Clot Busters) Angioplasty Pre-hospital Cardiac Care Decrease in hospital time to treatment saved heart muscle improvement in quality of life
Too Little Progress: Heart Attack Recognition Most heart attack patients do not benefit from optimal medical advances…………………………Why?
Delay In recognizing and responding to the early warning signs of a heart attack
Why EHAC? Early Care: Recognize & Respond –Often mild symptoms, usually normal activity Late Care: Obvious Emergency & Respond –Incapacitating pain, diminished activity Too Late Care: Critical Emergency & Respond –Unconscious, CPR, defibrillation, probable death 85% of the heart damage takes place within the first two hours
Early Symptoms of a Heart Attack Non-Specific Heart Attack Symptoms: Weakness/Fatigue Clammy/Sweating Nausea/Indigestion Dizziness/Nervousness Shortness of Breath Neck/Back/Jaw Pain Feeling of Doom Elbow Pain Specific Heart Attack Symptoms: Chest Discomfort Chest Pressure Chest Ache Chest Burning Chest Fullness
Early Signs of Heart Attack Present in up to half of heart attacks Suddenly accelerate preceding the heart attack Usually appear within 24 hours before the acute attack but can begin two to three weeks before Duration varies from a few minutes to several hours Usually intermittent with a pain free period before the onset of acute occlusion
Why Do We Delay? Denial and Procrastination = Our Heart’s Enemy 1.It’s nothing really serious (I’ll just rest a bit) 2.I’m too busy right now (I don’t have time to be sick) 3.I don’t want to be a problem (If it turns out to be nothing, I’ll be embarrassed by the fuss made) 4.Paramedics Beware (First responders can easily be swayed by patient rationalizations and denials) 5.It’s probably heart burn or indigestion (I’ll take something for it) 6.I’m strong (Just walk it off, grin and bear it) 7.I’m healthy (I have no serious medical problems… I exercise) 8.I’ll just wait it out (Everything will be okay)
What To Ask and Look For Do you have any chest discomfort? Is it tightness, pressure, pain in the center of your chest? Is the discomfort also in your arms or jaw or neck or throat or back? Are you sick to your stomach? Is the person sweaty or clammy? What were you doing when the symptoms started? Do the symptoms go away with rest? Are you having any shortness of breath?
Listen to Your Heart and Be A Winner! Be aware of pressure, not necessarily pain, in your chest Be aware if it increases with activity and subsides with rest Don’t try to rationalize it away; be honest with yourself and others Call 911 or have someone drive you to the nearest emergency room Don’t go to your doctor’s office or wait for an appointment EHAC is knowing the subtle danger signs and acting on them before damage occurs
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